Learning to fly: Elizabeth Streb’s ‘action heroes’ defy gravity at Tanz im August

Photo by Sylvia Cunningham


Last Saturday, Elizabeth Streb’s dance company, STREB EXTREME ACTION, helped open Tanz im August with a gravity defying set at the Sony Center, Potsdamer Platz. The performance included dancers performing in a huge custom-designed wheel and jumping from giant spinning ladders.

In a career lasting since the 1980’s, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has dived through glass and walked on the face of London City Hall and the Whitney Museum in New York. We caught up with the choreographer, now in her 68th year, to talk about how gravity hasn’t held her back. Streb says: “I believed in taking things off the ground, in the air, faster, higher, sooner, harder.”


Video by Sylvia Cunningham

Photos by Sylvia Cunningham and Emily Bader